Submitted: 10-10-2006 by flyboy
I've been paddling a Vela for about 2 years now. In total I've been kayaking for about 10 years and work as a part time guide in Nova Scotia so I considered an advanced paddler.
With that said it took me a couple months to really get comfortable in the boat. I think it had something to do with the water temp. and my hesitation to push the limits at first because I hate getting wet.
If you are willing to spend some time developing your skills this is the boat for you! It's perfect for anyone who likes something that can track well, turn on a dime, and is easy and fun to play in all conditions. I've used it on many camping trips and never ran out of space. I wouldn't suggest anyone go solo camping but if you did you would have to plan your packing. It does sit quite low in the water when it's loaded and water does wash over the bow a lot in the swells so I'd suggest you get a good spary skirt for the boat.
I was lucky enough to pick up a used fiberglass boat and all the gear for $1500 CDN from someone who just got into kayaking and tipped out at sea... said they would never get into a kayak again. It's such a sad story :(
My advice is if you're just getting into kayaking do not buy this boat. Kayaks don't tend to depreciate like cars so you can always sell and trade up after a few years of paddling fun. I've seen too many people buy boats that they are not ready for and end up never using them. Lose the pride and buy something your comfortable in!
I'm not a "small" guy. About 5'10" and 175 lbs. Which is about the max. limit for the Vela. Great boat! You get the idea.